Milky Chance had been gone for too long. In Philadelphia, just two short weeks ago, the line to get into The Fillmore had stretched in anticipation of their return. The German alt rock/pop band had released their second album, Blossom, to moderate critical acclaim back in March of 2017.
However, the band had not played a show in Philadelphia in nearly three whole years, dating back to July of 2015. After a lengthy European/international festival tour at the end of 2017 in support of their new album, the band took a short break before announcing a massive North American headlining tour. Expectations were reasonably high; While Blossom didn’t receive the critical acclaim that their debut album Sadnecessary had received, it had still spawned a slew of catchy, dance-floor ready singles such as “Cocoon” and “Bad Things.”
With fans eager to hear their new material live, the venue quickly filled up with a hodgepodge of diverse fans. To my left was a couple old enough to be my parents, and to my right was a group of teenagers that looked like they had gotten to the venue straight from high school gym practice. At 9 PM sharp, the lights quickly dimmed to an eruption of cheers. Milky Chance walked onto the stage amongst applause, and went straight into their set without a word said. The lead guitar riff of “Clouds” began, lead singer Clemens Rehbein grabbed his guitar in hand, and the night had begun. Shortly after, all in attendance were dancing and moving their hips to the staccato rhythms of Milky Chance.
As expected, the band opted for a set that relied heavily on the electric, more polished tracks off Blossom. Clemmens and lead guitarist Antonio Greger performed in unison, meticulouslyplaying their own distinct guitar parts and melodies that make Milky Chance’s music so unique. They ripped through the first few songs of the night, with “Ego”, title track “Blossom”, and the infectious “Doing Good.” They spoke no words, only taking short pauses in between songs to tune up and prepare for the next song. Halfway through, Philadelphia was treated to a seemingly perfect rendition of tour rarity, “Firebird”, as well as Sadnecessary hits such as “Flashed Junk Mind” and “Down by The River.” The set flew by in an hour and a half, but not before Milky Chance had run through fourteen masterful renditions of most of their discography. After disappearing off the stage in another wave of applause and cheering, they returned to the stage for a highly anticipated version of hit single, “Stolen Dance.” The night ended with an intimate performance of “Sweet Sun” off Sadnecessary, and the band thanked everyone for coming out and for patiently waiting for their long overdue return to the city of brotherly love.
The three-year wait was worth it. After an overly calm, sold-out show at the Mann in 2015, the band had rejuvenated their sound with fresh material and a knack for high energy performances. Years of practice had given Milky Chance the confidence and fine-tuning necessary to truly put on a nearly exemplary show. While the band did lack in crowd interaction, the music worked wonders and had everyone in The Fillmore on their feet and feeling jubilant. Only once did Milky Chance blatantly make an error in their performance, and they were quick to remedy the situation and start the song over. “Sorry”, lead singer Clemens said over the microphone with a tinge of embarrassment, and the song resumed without a hitch. The Blossom tour continues in Canada this week, before the band packs it up and flies over to Europe for the final leg of the tour.
By: Adam Uscilowicz